The Problem:
I guess the question I should ask first is whether you have noticed that you can only have two simultaneous connections to any single http (web) server? Go on, try it! Find a site which has several medium sized files and try to download more than two at time. You can’t. (Note: This problem occurs for MSIE versions 4 and up).

The reason why this occurs is that Internet Explorer follows the HTTP specification which limits the number of simultaneous connections to a HTTP 1.1 server to two (on HTTP 1.0 servers, the limit is 4). Naturally, if you need to download a whole stack of files from a single website (eg downloading sound themes from or maybe downloading several movie trailers at once) you can only download two at a time – to use the lingo of our age, this really sucks!

How to get around this restriction:
You need to know how to edit your Windows registry (Start -> Run -> type ‘regedit’ – please note, if you had to read the previous instructions on how to run the registry editor, you probably shouldn’t be editing your registry).

You need to find this key in the registry:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings

Under this key, create two entries of type DWORD:
MaxConnectionsPerServer (connections to HTTP 1.1 servers)
MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server (connections to HTTP 1.0 servers)

The value you should put in these entries is the maximum number of simultaneous connections you want to have per server.

Close all your browser windows and then when you open them again, they will have the new setting.

Some guessing on my part:
ie. the following information may be incorrect
By increasing the number of simultaneous connections you will also increase the speed at which a webpage will load (assuming you have enough bandwidth). The reason for this is that if there are say 20 images on the page, your computer will open multiple connections to the server and download all 20 images simultaneously (assuming your max connections value is >= 20 and that you have enough bandwidth that 20 simultaneous downloads won’t choke your connection) rather than two at a time.

BUT, I think that simultaneously opening 20 connections to one server could really hammer the webserver and put it under load if enough people did this (especially on a busy server). So I personally believe that if you are heavy user of the Internet such that this workaround is indeed useful to you, then you should also show responsibility and consideration for other users and webmasters, by not putting ridiculous values in the max connection entries. I think 10 simultaneous connections is a reasonable amount – feel free to /msg me if you think otherwise!

This marks my 100th write-up - yay for me :)

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